The truly maddening things about superintendent Vitti

When Superintendent Vitti got to town he was a breath of
fresh air. One of the first things he did was go on a listening tour of the
city. The last time Ed Pratt Dannals toured the city he told people about the
doom and gloom of impending budget cuts and never mentioned the 120 million we
had squirreled away in the couch cushions. Then Vitti sent out a memo saying we
should relax the learning schedule and principals should not retaliate against
teachers that fell behind. This guy is going to be all right, I said to myself.
Then he wanted to bring back the arts and increase
discipline; a lack of both was really setting us back. Next dyslexic and
overage kids were no longer going to be ignored and more resources would be
heading towards them. He was checking all the boxes.
Somewhere though the wheels have begun to come off the bus.
Teachers say principals bullying them is just as bad if not worse, perhaps a
byproduct of his choice of area chiefs. Discipline is still a joke as ISSP has
become a playground in many schools and he even pushed back against a local
judge saying things weren’t all that bad, though putting extra security, deans
and ISSP teachers in our schools seem to belittle his point. Then art, music and p.e. classes
are to huge to be manageable and to give kids any real benefit. He had some
really great ideas but then followed them through half-heartedly at best.
Then lets talk about the QEA initiative, he plans to pay
teachers gobs of money to go to our neediest schools, well the evidence says it
won’t work but I get it we have to try and get our best teachers at those
schools but then rather than supplementing them with professional teachers he
(the QEA initiative) is blowing millions on TFA hobbyists, who provide their students
the exact opposite of what research says they need.  
He has also said recently we need social workers and
counselors at our neediest schools a sentiment echoed dozens of times in
Education Matters but rather than investing in them he’s throwing money at TFA
and undoubtedly some teachers who weren’t going anywhere in the first place. He hopes to pay for them by cutting other positions elsewhere.
Vitti has all these great ideas, he’s hitting the nail with
the hammer describing what we need but then inexplicably like an easily
distracted child he is off to the next thing, open enrollment anybody?
Vitti’s got to slow down if he wants to get it right. He has
to treat teachers like valued colleagues and assure his subordinates do the
same. He has to provide wrap around services for our most difficult kids
because often why they act up or do poorly has nothing to do with school. He
needs to make our schools safe and assure kids get consequences for bad
behavior. Now I am not saying drop the hammer but something meaningful has to
be done or it’s a waste of both time and resources. Then he has to put in place
classes that stop school from being such drudgery for kids, manageable and
meaningful classes. He does those things he can help turn it around.

Right now he talks a lot of the talk, but his walking
is all over the place.  

2 Replies to “The truly maddening things about superintendent Vitti”

  1. Discipline is worse than ever, because principals are pressured just like in the EPD days to reduce referrals. And I wholeheartedly agree that the bullying of teachers is worse too. Vitti promised to make the culture better, but teachers are fearful. We need to get rid of this guy. He doesn't support teachers at all.

  2. This is one of the best descriptions of Vitti I have read. He is exactly what the educators in Miami said from the very beginning – he is arrogant and inexperienced and those two characteristics are why he is not focused and why he will leave Duval further behind then when he arrived. He runs from issue to issue in large part because he lacks the discipline and experience to plan. Finally, he has no respect for others and collaboration is not part of his DNA. If you thought EPD was bad he will pale by comparison when the Vitti era is all said and done and that can't be soon enough.

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